Leadership – The impact of Positivity and Emotional Intelligence

Leadership – The impact of Positivity and Emotional Intelligence #28 #cong21

Synopsis:

Positive leadership is an amalgamation of positive practices, rooted in Optimism and Positive Psychology, designed to help individuals, teams and organizations achieve great success.
If a Positive Leader also has high Emotional Intelligence, (EQ), does this have a multiplier effect?

The combination impacts professional success and overall happiness. A positive leader is interested in their employees’ development to the fullest potential, and significant and sustained organizational performance; and will be successful at building and sustaining successful personal relationships and impact. This will be an empowering combination for successful Leadership of Organizations and Societies.

You decide ‘how you show up’!

Total Words

1,811

Reading Time in Minutes

7

Key Takeaways:

  1. Leaders who practice positive leadership experience “High self-awareness, optimism, and personal integrity’’
  2. A positive leader is interested in their employees’ development to the fullest potential, and significant and sustained organizational performance; and will be successful at building and sustaining successful personal relationships and impact.
  3. Emotional Intelligence is about ‘how you show-up’ … The way you ‘show-up’ … determines the way people feel… And the way they feel … determines the extent to which they engage … And that impacts pretty much EVERYTHING about the outcome of that relationship…
  4. The combination of high Emotional intelligence and ‘Optimalism’ generates professional success and overall happiness.

About Aidan McCormack

 Following a successful business career as a Business Entrepreneur, Owner and Manager, Aidan now provides Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Consultancy services. Aidan has experience in the following areas:
• Leadership, Executive and Career Coaching, including Emotional Intelligence and Psychometric Assessments.
• Leadership and Management Development including Executive Selection and Recruitment.
• Business Strategy and Innovation.
• Consultative Selling, Customer Focused & Customer Centric Sales, including enhanced Sales capability through Emotional Intelligence development.
• Business start-up and scale-up.
• Business Mentor and Advisor

Aidan’s business background is primarily in Ownership and Management; he has held senior positions, primarily in the Healthcare Sector. Aidan’s experience as a CEO and Senior Manager includes start-ups, turnaround and recovery, merger and acquisitions, and strategic development.

Aidan has served as President of a European Trade Association for five years where he the organization through a period of reorganization and strategic re-direction.

Aidan’s believes in the potential of both people and businesses to grow through strategic management and personal development. Aidan loves coaching and mentoring, as he believes in the potential of the individual; coaching and mentoring allows the expression of this, which enables and empowers both enterprises and individuals to grow.

As a Leadership, Executive and Career coach, Aidan works with a diverse range of candidates and executives at all levels in Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical; Technology, FMCG, Healthcare Distribution and Financial Services.  Aidan facilitates training in Leadership Development, Business Strategy and Sales.  Aidan works with companies and businesses in both Commercial Activities and Professional Services and acts as a business advisor, mentor and Leadership Coach for Local Enterprise Offices.

Aidan plays golf badly, loves rugby and sports generally; is a ‘life-long’ learner, interested in current affairs, an enthusiastic cook, father of three wonderful adults and grandad to two joyous and lovable grandchildren.

Contacting Aidan McCormack:

You can connect with Aidan on LinkedIn, see his work in Emotive Coaching or send him an email.

Leadership – The impact of Positivity and Emotional Intelligence

By Aidan McCormack

A research-based discussion on the critical need for leaders to demonstrate and embody emotional intelligence and positivity for success in a post-pandemic world.

Positive Leadership Defined: What is it?

Positive leadership is, to me, an amalgamation of positive practices, rooted in Optimism and Positive Psychology, designed to help individuals, teams and organizations achieve great success at work. The result impacts not only professional success but can impact overall happiness in personal life as well. A positive leader is interested in their employees’ development to the fullest potential, as well as significant and sustained organizational performance, i.e., the bottom-line.
A misconception is that positive leadership is about being nice. This is not the case. Rather, it incorporates these attributes and supplements them with a focus on strategies that provide strengths-based, positive energy to individuals and organizations.

According to Kim Cameron,

“Positive Leadership refers to the implementation of multiple positive practices that help individuals and organizations achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy and achieve levels of effectiveness difficult to attain otherwise” *

The formal term has existed for many years. Utilised by Google, IKEA, and many other successful organisations, it is evident in several leadership frameworks. You may recognise terms like: Authentic, Transformational, Servant, Ethical, Leader–member Exchange, Identity leadership, and the Leader Character model. Now it has begun to emerge more and more as its own leadership model.

Work Climate image

Source: https://corpu.com/

The basis of Positive Leadership is in the domain of Positive Psychology, originating from the work of Martin Seligman. Positive Leadership is the application of Positive Psychology to Leadership and, by extension, to Organizational Behaviour.

Leaders who practice positive leadership experience:

“High self-awareness, optimism, and personal integrity.”

(Avolio & Gardner, 2005)

Traits, definitions, behaviours associated with Positive Leadership:

Some of the key demonstrated behaviours and activities of positive leadership:

  • Displays ‘Positivity and Optimism grounded in Reality’ – i.e., ‘Optimalism’
  • Emotional Stability and Intelligence: Self-awareness; Self-management; Social Awareness & Social-Skills – i.e., EI, CI, RI emotional/cultural/relational intelligence
  • Focus – on ‘Self’ – on ‘Other’ – and on the wider context (organization/community)
  • Confidence; Self-esteem; Self- efficacy; Locus of control.
  • Authentic Self; fosters authenticity in followers
  • Positive relational transparency (having a clear leadership philosophy)
  • Attention – through the Triad of Empathy – Cognitive – Emotional – Empathetic Concern.
  • Displays Resilience and encourages Resilience in others.
  • Focus on Accomplishment / Achievement.

Strengths:

  • Leaders demonstrate optimism that is grounded in reality
  • Create elements of psychological safety in the workplace connecting to resilience and productivity
  • Supports the creation of meaning and purposeful work boosting motivation among team members
  • Builds on strengths and on high-quality connections, fostering positive relationships at work.
  • Positive emotions fuel creativity, innovation and productivity. PEAs (positive emotional attractors) release endorphins, which in turn encourage personal growth & development
  • Engenders a sense of well-being. Helps pro-actively manage stress & build resilience
  • A growth mindset, needed for success, is a natural outcome of Positive leadership.
  • Develops Resilience – how important is that quality and trait as we battle the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Focus on Accomplishment / Achievement.

Positive Leadership and Emotional Intelligence
If a Positive Leader also has high Emotional Intelligence, (EQ), does this have a multiplier effect? I believe it does. Let’s discuss why.

According to Genos International:

Emotional Intelligence is about ‘how you show-up’ …

The way you ‘show-up’ … determines the way people feel…

And the way they feel … determines the extent to which they engage

And that impacts pretty much EVERYTHING about the outcome of that relationship…

Wooden cubes and blocks with words 'EQ - emotional quotient'. Male hand. Psychological concept. Copy space, beautiful white background. https://unsplash.com/

Source: https://unsplash.com/

Many of the attributes, traits and capacities required for Positive Leadership can be found in Emotional Intelligence.
In his defining work on Emotional Intelligence bestselling author Daniel Goleman* found that it is twice as important as other competencies in determining outstanding leadership.

The benefits of emotional intelligence development occur within and outside of the workplace. Relationships improve, stress reduces, change occurs more efficiently and performance increases. (Dr. Ben Palmer, Genos International)

Capgemini Consultants in a ground breaking report describe Emotional Intelligence as an ‘the essential Skillset for the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI).’ In the report they quote Pip Russell, Strategy, Innovation, and Commercial operations VP, Schneider Electric –

‘’We need people in our workplace who can connect with others, who
display empathy and understanding, (and) who understand emotions. More than ever, emotional intelligence is not just a ‘nice to have’ but a core capability for the future.’’

(A copy of the report is available on request.)

What makes someone great at their job? Having knowledge, smarts and vision, to be sure. But what really distinguishes the world’s most successful leaders is Emotional Intelligence — or the ability to identify and monitor emotions (of their own and of others).

Companies today are increasingly looking through the lens of Emotional Intelligence when hiring, promoting and developing their employees. Research and studies show that the more Emotional Intelligence someone has, the better their performance.

What most people fail to realize, though, is that mastering Emotional Intelligence doesn’t come naturally. Joe, for example, considers himself an emotionally intelligent person. He’s a well-liked manager who is kind, respectful, nice to be around and sensitive to the needs of others.

And yet, he often wonders, I have all the qualities of emotional intelligence, so why do I still feel stuck in my career?

This situation is not unusual: Joe is defining emotional intelligence too narrowly. By focusing on his sociability and likability, he loses sight of all other essential emotional intelligence traits he may be lacking — ones that can make him a stronger, more effective leader.

https://unsplash.com/

“ANYBODY can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody’s power, that is not easy.”

Aristotle, The Art of Rhetoric

Emotional Intelligence helps us to perceive and understand how we feel, how others feel and how effectively we regulate and manage our emotions. It enables us to modify our decisions, behaviours and performance at work so we are thinking our best, behaving our best and performing our best at work.

‘’People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’’

Maya Angelou.

The Genos Model of Emotional Intelligence demonstrates it well:

Source: Genos International

When present the competencies demonstrate the following:

  • Self- awareness – “Demonstrates awareness of their moods & feelings”
  • Awareness of others – “Makes others feel appreciated”
  • Authenticity – “Is open and honest about mistakes”
  • Emotional Reasoning – “Makes ethical decisions”
  • Self-management – “Manages their emotions effectively in difficult situations”
  • Inspiring Performance or Positive Influence – “Recognises others’ hard work and achievements”

Conclusion:
In the new paradigm as we continue to battle the impact of the Covid pandemic and slowly reopen and rebuild society and business, Leaders will require Positivity, Empathy, Resilience, Compassion and Authenticity.

I believe the combination of enhanced Emotional Intelligence and ‘Optimalism’ embodied in Positive Leadership will be an empowering combination for successful Leadership of Organizations and Societies.

You decide ‘how you show up’!

Aidan McCormack
November 2021

Sources:
Positive leadership: Strategies for Extraordinary Performance K Cameron – 2012 , 786 citations
* Goleman, D. Emotional Intelligence. (1995) London: Bloomsbury Publishing, and Goleman, D. Working with Emotional Intelligence. (1998) London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
(Published as a combined paperback, by Bloomsbury in 2004)
M Seligman, Csikszentmihalyi, R Boyatzis & https://positivepsychology.com/
Genos International https://genosemotionalintelligence.com/
Dr. Ben Palmer, Genos International
Capgemini Consultants, www.capgemini.com,

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